“It isn’t cheating or cutting corners,” says Please Don’t Tell head bartender and World Class USA winner, Jeff Bell, of his celebrated New York bar’s batching process. “We’ve found a compromise which leads to the same great drinks. They just come out quicker.”
While a time-saver in a busy bar, batching – or the process of creating and bottling cocktails for later service – also allows the cocktail maker to keep a close eye on ingredients. This can be especially useful for entertaining at home, when you want everyone to get their drinks at the same time.
“Some of our cocktails have a handful of small quantities of ingredients,” says Bell, of his curatorial process. “It improves the guest’s experience to batch those small measures together for one pour. This is extra important at large events.”
Michael Madrusan, from award-winning Melbourne bar The Everleigh, and creator of the Everleigh Bottling Co., says batching is about being prepared. “We’ve already done the leg work behind the bar,” says Madrusan. “You can get an Everleigh-quality cocktail in the time it takes to pour a beer.”
As long as the same rules of cleanliness and freshness are applied, Madrusan says people can make exceptional cocktail batches at home – for the benefit of all. “They’re the most exciting party favours.”
A home-batch cocktail courtesy of Please Don’t Tell’s Jeff Bell:
Tying the Sheets
Approximately 2.4 standard drinks.
30ml Bundaberg Rum Small Batch
30ml Good quality brandy
7.5ml Amaro Averna
15ml lemon juice
Teaspoon of fig preserve
Teaspoon of Demerera Syrup
Dash Black Walnut Bitters
Shake with ice and fine strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with a halved dried fig on a skewer.